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In this video we cover Ruxolitinib for hair loss – super effective? What is ruxolitinib? How does it work? Is there evidence that it works? How can you get it? Get the answers for these questions plus more when you watch the full video!
Alopecia – no matter its cause – can be a debilitating condition for sufferers. As such, many will consider the various treatments on the market. One treatment that’s growing in popularity is ruxolitinib – an autoimmune drug.
However, it’s not a treatment I recommend.
In this post, I’ll discuss two of the most common types of alopecia (including Androgenetic Alopecia and Alopecia Areata). I’ll then introduce you to ruxolitinib, how it works, and highlight the studies that have been done on its use for hair loss.
What Is Alopecia?
Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss, but it’s also a broad term that can be applied to any type of balding. Let’s look at two specific types of alopecia, including their causes.
Androgenetic Alopecia vs. Alopecia Areata
The two most common forms of hair loss are Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) and Alopecia Areata (AA). However, they both have two very different causes and symptoms.
AGA is also known as Male-Pattern Baldness (MPB), and it’s the form of hair loss most associated with hairline recession and thinning. It can occur as you age, but it’s also been known to affect those in their teens and early 20s.
Learn more about teen hair loss here.
The cause for AGA isn’t 100% known, though DHT is believed to be the main trigger. DHT is a hormone that’s produced from the interaction between testosterone (a hormone) and 5AR (an enzyme).
While DHT is present naturally, those with AGA have hair follicles that are sensitive to it.
This leads to an inflammatory response which, in turn, causes hair miniaturization. If not treated, miniaturization can lead to irreversible and widespread balding.
AA, on the other hand, is believed to be an autoimmune disorder. In simplest terms, individuals with AA have immune systems that attack their own body. They specifically target the hair follicles in this condition.
This leads to a patchy hair loss, and it can affect both males and females.
The majority of people with AA will only experience it on the scalp. However, it’s possible to experience it bodywide (this is known as Alopecia Universalis).
Who Should You See If You Suspect Alopecia?
Alopecia is a medical condition, and one that should be officially diagnosed by a medical professional prior to treatment.
If you suspect you suffer from alopecia, I recommend you speak with your primary care physician. They can refer you to the proper professional (a dermatologist or trichologist).
You can learn more about hair loss specialists – and how they can help you – here.
Some sufferers of alopecia will always find it helpful to visit with natural health professionals.
What is Ruxolitinib?
Ruxolitinib is a Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitor that was first approved in 2011 by the FDA for the treatment of intermediate or high-risk myelofibrosis. This is a rare bone marrow cancer that’s been shown to respond positively to JAK inhibition.
This medication is also being considered for other conditions believed to be connected to the JAK pathways – including AA and plaque psoriasis.
How Does It Work?
As stated, ruxolitinib works by inhibiting JAK pathways. These pathways are known to signal an autoimmune response – specifically involving T-cell lymphocytes.
The immune system plays a critical role in overall health. Unfortunately, some individuals suffer from autoimmune disorders (including AA) that cause the system to go into overdrive.
These disorders cause the system to believe that even non-threats (such as the hair follicle) are threats that need to be targeted and destroyed.
T-cells are just one cell of many that are part of the immune system. More specifically, they are white blood cells that act as the first line of defense against infection and invasion.
So, if individuals with AA are suffering from immune attacks on their own bodies, what can be done?
By inhibiting the specific JAK pathways believed to be involved in AA (JAK-1 and JAK-2), ruxolitinib is able to prevent the immune attack from occurring. This leads to healthy, natural hair growth.
Can Ruxolitinib Treat Alopecia Areata?
There’s no doubt that the most recent research on ruxolitinib is promising. However, let’s take a closer look at these studies and their implications.
This video is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease.